July 6. — The morning still very wet and miserably cold. With Wylie acting as guide, we reached in eight miles, the Candiup river, a large chain of ponds, connected by a running stream, and emptying into a wide and deep arm of the sea, with much rich and fertile land upon its banks. The whole district was heavily timbered, and had good grass growing amongst the trees. From the very heavy rains that had fallen, we had great trouble in crossing many of the streams, which were swollen by the floods into perfect torrents. In the Candiup river I had to wade, cold and chill as I was, seven times through, with the water breast high, and a current that I with difficulty could keep my feet against, in order to get the horses over in safety; the only fordable place was at a narrow ledge of rocks, and with so strong a stream, and such deep water below the ledge, I dared not trust Wylie to lead any of them, but went back, and took each horse across myself. The day was bitterly cold and rainy, and I began to suffer severely from the incessant wettings I had been subject to for many days past.
Four miles beyond the Candiup river, we came to King’s river, a large salt arm of Oyster Harbour, here my friend Wylie, who insisted upon it that he knew the proper crossing place, took me into a large swampy morass, and in endeavouring to take the horses through, three of them got bogged and were nearly lost, and both myself and Wylie were detained in the water and mud for a couple of hours, endeavouring to extricate them. At last we succeeded, but the poor animals were sadly weakened and strained, and we were compelled to return back to the same side of the river, and encamp for the night, instead of going on to King George’s Sound as I had intended!
Fortunately there was tolerable grass, and fresh water lay every where about in great abundance, so that the horses would fare well, but for ourselves there was a cheerless prospect. For three days and nights, we had never had our clothes dry, and for the greater part of this time, we had been enduring in full violence the pitiless storm — whilst wading so constantly through the cold torrents in the depth of the winter season, and latterly being detained in the water so long a time at the King’s river, had rendered us rheumatic, and painfully sensitive to either cold or wet. I hoped to have reached Albany this evening, and should have done so, as it was only six miles distant, if it had not been for the unlucky attempt to cross King’s river. Now we had another night’s misery before us, for we had hardly lain down before the rain began to fall again in torrents. Wearied and worn-out as we were, with the sufferings and fatigues of the last few days, we could neither sit nor lie down to rest; our only consolation under the circumstances being, that however bad or inclement the weather might be, it was the last night we should be exposed to its fury.
18 August, 2011 The website administrator announces the completion of the text of the journals of the crossing of Australia from Adelaide to Albany in the years 1840-1 by Edward John Eyre.
In the near future the text of Eyre's book dealing with the customs and treatment of the Aboriginal people will be added, essential reading for the student of present day Aboriginal culture.
Many photos and sketches are at hand and will also be added in due time.